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Here is a virtual tour of Enviva operations
“Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” – Groucho Marx
They show that biomass CAN produce emission worse than coal if done poorly, not that they MUST produce worse emissions. If done properly, biomass can approach carbon neutrality within a reasonable amount of time. Fossil fuels can’t do that, hence the push to replace coal with wood.
In other words, they’re pointing out flaws in corporate and government oversight rather than with the underlying idea of biomass energy.
I have no opinion on biomass energy, a wide range industry, that includes wood pellets along with many other products.
My comment is on Enviva’s large scale wood pellet mills, around 500,000 metric ton exports per year. Wood pellets have been used in the U.S. for heating homes with small mills in the area using wood waste from sawmills, with a capacity of 20,000 tons per year. Rhinos and Zebras come from Africa, but they are different animals.
What Enviva has done is create a new export industry with a massive supply chain infrastructure: an army of loggers, forest owners, logging truckers, railroads, storage facilities (Giant Balls), export ports, shipping containers, etc. They have mitigated pellet fire hazards, and worked with Drax to keep a 35-year-old facility with six coal-fired generators alive.
Their website says: “Enviva owns and operates six plants that are strategically located in the southeastern United States and that produce about 2.2 million metric tons of wood pellets annually. We export our pellets primarily to power plants in the United Kingdom and Europe that previously were fueled by coal, enabling them to reduce their carbon footprint by about 80 percent.” The 80 percent carbon footprint reduction is what sold me. What an awesome potential, not only for the E.U. but for the U.S. with many coal plants. Where else could you find a safe, fast growth, environmentally responsible investment?
I read the environmental policy before investing: “Enviva, LP Corporate Sustainability Policy. Enviva’s mission is to become the preferred partner and supplier of sustainably sourced wood pellets and other processed woody biomass to serve power generation and industrial customers seeking to decrease their dependence on fossil fuels and reduce their carbon footprint. Enviva has been supplying wood chips and wood pellets to customers in the U.S. and Europe since 2007.”
The report filed with SEC is keeping me awake. Let’s face it, 40-ton logging trucks delivering hardwood tree logs to Enviva mills, as shown on pictures you can find online, are not going to be ignored by SEC. It reminds me of the line, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?” – Chico Marx
As an Enviva shareholder, the news of a review by the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the issues of carbon-neutrality and forest sustainability, are alarming. SEC has the power to take legal action against Enviva if SEC determines the information provided by the company to shareholders is false or misleading. The mission of the SEC is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.
Unless Enviva comes out clean, the market may decide to dump EVA shares. The stock price is up, but after selling my oil shares I am facing the same dilemma: do I increase my net worth, or do I join the climate warriors. I am an old guy and the extreme weather may hold for a few years, but I worry about my grandkids. What should I do?